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Delaware Workers' Compensation Laws

Delaware is a booming spot for business -- which means lots of employees. Whether you work in hospitality, corporate law, or construction, you know that work injuries can leave you feeling lost and alone. Fortunately, Delaware workers' compensation laws protect not only you, but those you need to help you prove your case.

While many aspects are similar, each state has its own workers' comp laws. The table and information below highlight the basics of Delaware's workers’ compensation laws.

Code Section

Waiting Period

  • Medical benefits begin day 1 (§ 2321)
  • Wage replacement begins day 4 (§ 2321)

Time Limit

  • 2 years to file a claim (§ 2361)
  • 1 year for ionizing radiation injury (§ 2361(d))
  • 90 days to give notice to employer (§ 2341)

Exempt Employees

  • Most domestic workers and farm laborers (§ 2307)

Wage Replacement

  • 66 2/3% of avg. weekly wages

Choice of Doctor

Coverage

While many Delaware employers are required to provide workers' comp insurance coverage to their employees, few employers of domestic workers—such as housekeepers—or farm laborers are required to provide coverage. Most work-related injuries and occupational diseases are covered, including mental conditions in many cases. Delaware gives you 90 days to notify your employer that you suffered an injury on the job, and two years to file an official claim with insurance for compensation for most injuries.

Benefits

Delaware adds a local twist to workers' comp laws by calculating a workers' wage differently based upon whether the employee has been working for the employer for less than 13 weeks, between 13 and 26 weeks, or over 26 weeks. Depending on the length and severity of your disability, you may be entitled to differing amounts of wage compensation, all subject to a maximum set by law. Unfortunately, compensation for partial disability is limited to 300 weeks in most cases. With regards to medical benefits, injured workers in Delaware will be pleased to learn that employees may choose their own physicians.

Dispute Resolution

If your claim is denied, you must file a petition with the Office of Workers' Compensation for a review of your claim. Delaware will not provide you with your own attorney, but employers are required to be represented by attorneys at the hearing. Once the Board issues a decision, you have 45 days to contest the decision by filing a petition with the Industrial Accident Board. Delaware is unique in that it protects both injured employees and witness employees from employer retaliation.

Returning to Work

The ultimate goal of workers' compensation programs is to rehabilitate employees so that they may return to work. While your employer is required to respect any restrictions your physician places on your ability to work, your employer is not required to provide you with employment. Further, Delaware remains an at-will employment state. However, your employer cannot fire you simply for filing a workers' compensation claim.

Get a Free Claim Review from a Delaware Attorney

If you are suffering from panic attacks, anxiety, or any other mental injury, you will likely have a harder time recovering workers' compensation benefits. Rather than taking the system on single-handedly, get a free claim review from a Delaware attorney experienced with helping employees like you obtain workers' comp benefits.

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